Friday, August 5, 2016


That's a Lakota phrase from Crazy Horse. It kind of means "Let's go!'

But for decades we thought it meant something else. As mistakes go, it was harmless. We'll explain in a bit, but first...

To our friends and fellow animal lovers, thanks and blessings for your constant support...

Just to let y'all know that Mama Dog's passing was about as sweet as a goodbye gets. It was actually beautiful. We were surrounded by people who care very much for us and she seemed present and aware of all the love.

The Visit

First, Gail, our friend at the vet, was kind enough to offer MD some of TL's chiller chicken. (You've seen his Lhasa Apso divine face on previous posts.) Our girl loved her food and her appetite never flagged no matter how bad her old body was feeling. (Put it this way: Mama Dog's gourmet Make a Wish was granted over the last two weeks.)

And Dr. K and Tara, who've guided more Butler pets across than we like to count in the last two years, were right there doing the heavy lifting - literally and metaphorically. (This Mama's back needs a light touch after carrying our 75 lb beauty up and down the steps of late.)

Too, she was on a stretcher because exactly two hours before our appointment, she lost all mobility in her back legs. It was all this pet Mom could do to carry her from house to car.

Honestly, the timing of ALL of this was perfect. We just seemed to get angelic guidance about how to do it for her.

Per our request, our pets get a party shot before the final one. We might be sober, but it seems to bridge the gap between pain consciousness and that eternal peace deal they're about to see.

Then we lay down right beside her, right on the floor and held her beautiful face and just told her how wonderful she was. Her last breaths were not labored, and her famous smile happened right at the end.

We know all goodbyes can't be this perfect: She lived a long life and we had plenty of notice.

Maybe having so many pet losses in the last few years has helped with the hows and the whens. Look. We're sure that sudden illness could arise again as it did with little Leon last year - the kind that takes them too soon. In those cases, tears may sting more bitterly. But we pray for the grace of composure and acceptance whenever it comes.

But this time? If you'd ever told us that Rainbow Bridge could be decked out in beautiful banners and happy lights, our eyeballs might've rolled pretty far back, but it happened. It really did.

Just a thought: Wherever our strength came from this time - that's You, Big Guy - we think our demeanor helped her through it. An absence of over-grieving is not the absence of love. It may be just the opposite.

To those who've gracefully endured and practiced what this post is about - thanks for letting us borrow a cup of your vibes. If only we'd known years before.

Thanks mostly for helping us remember that we've still got a bunch - albeit a smaller one - at home who need us in the right here and now, which is where they live.

Now if you'll kindly excuse us, we've got some comedy to write.

Oh yeah.. The Hoka-hey!

That's a paraphrased way to say, "Today is a good day to die."

We're glad we got it wrong for so long. Some misunderstandings are perfect the way they are.

"Rest in peace, Mama Dog Butler"

Just got the sweetest email saying, simply, "Rest in peace, Mama Dog Butler".

Sounds like a 1920s bank robber name.

We like it.

Here's her smile which I'll remember always...

This Long Goodbye

You know what? Throughout this long goodbye, we were held close and up and every other fine way as we headed toward the Bridge.

I've never felt this peaceful about a farewell, but maybe I'm doing her justice by not over-grieving. This was about her. And she needed me to help her let go...

It's true: We get by with a little help from our friends. To you perfect strangers out there in Facebook Land, I'm blown away by just how THERE you were and are.

Here's to remembering what's fine about our critter amigos. They asked if I wanted her paw print. I think not. I have enough of her fur in the vacuum canister to probably recreate a miniature Mama Dog - she had that Husky undercoat. I'm tacky enough to contemplate it, but truthful enough to know I'd botch it.

Besides, I'm recalling Alan Alda's book title, "Never Stuff Your Dog and Other Things I Learned". A reporter asked him why. Alda replied, "Because they're not THERE."

I know what he meant.

She's right here in our hearts.

And I'm smiling. That wouldn't have happened without y'all.

So there. Please pass it on.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

This Girl

Maybe my favorite shot of this girl. She'll be shuffling off this mortal coil in about three hours and we'd both like to thank all of you for the mighty kind,, ever flowing river of sympathy for her passing.

I know we'll see each other again. Just that the space of time and distance seems really big right now.

All fine blessings to you guys.

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Truth Behind Us: The Devil Before Us

Joseph Welch said this, famously, righteously, and, perhaps in the collective sense of its content, belatedly, but, by God, he said it. He said at a time that had seen the ugliest of America bubble to the surface with the grimacing, cruel, arguably insane face of one man at its center. He was speaking to Joseph McCarthy when he spoke these words:

"You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"

In years to come, those who are biting their tongues now lest they lose their place on the political checkerboard, will find that their outrageous deficiency of honor will come back, in some other way, to bite them in their hindquarters.

Party loyalty is far less important than fealty to those qualities most treasured and direly needed in our country's highest office. Babies and bathwater need to part ways.

God love this little kid.

When's the last time this happened to one of us? Grown ups, I mean. And the presidential debates don't count.

God love this little kid.

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